October from a set of Medallion Months

Possibly after a design by Bernard van Orley Netherlandish

Not on view

Like the Ages of Man tapestries (also on display in this gallery and perhaps designed in the same artist's workshop), the subject of this tapestry explores the cyclical nature of time. Embodying October, peasants sow the fields with seed in a crisp Autumnal landscape. Jupiter, seated on a plough, looks down the scene.

A Zodiacal belt encloses this medallion, with Scorpio triumphant. Pairs of women with hourglasses separate the signs, whilst the background shifts from bright daylight through dusk to dark night, thence back through dawn to day. In the upper corners are SUPERNAS, actually a summer wind, and NOTUS, a south wind. In the lower corners are further charmingly-observed scenes of country life.

October from a set of Medallion Months, Possibly after a design by Bernard van Orley (Netherlandish, Brussels ca. 1492–1541/42 Brussels), Wool, silk (20 warps per inch, 8 per cm.), Netherlandish, Brussels

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